Tag Archives: Food Trucks

Christmas in July

I’m going to make a pretty bold statement and I invite you to agree or disagree: It feels harder to eat healthy in the summer than it does over the holidays. This sounds sort of counterintuitive I realize, but hear me out for a minute.

Yes, Thanksgiving is a food centered holiday and the month between that day and Christmas are often filled with excessive foodie/boozie opportunities to party with friends. I definitely see treats around my cubicle filled office, and everyone seems to want to show their love for each other with baked goods and See’s Candy. The season is stressful, and I get it. At times we want to “reward ourselves” with a delicious taste of something. We want to “let loose and celebrate” with the people we love. And I do agree that this can pose some challenges. I am not made of wood, people — the holidays are certainly a temptation. But let’s talk a little bit about summer.

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First of all summer is THREE MONTHS LONG. I’m not talking four or five weeks of forced decadence, I’m talking an entire quarter of the year where deliciousness abounds and everyone acts like “Oh Hey — No big whoop!” You’ve got 12 weeks of BBQs, Birthday Parties, Weekends Away, and Legitimate Long Vacations where you feel determined to Treat Yo Self! It is the reason that Cobbler and Fresh Whipped Cream were invented. And all of this goes on all summer long! And don’t even get me started about the appropriate ratio of summer nights to summer cocktails. OY! I can’t even go there or I will want to pour myself a drink.
Summer afternoons make the Sunday Night Blues even MORE prevalent, I think. You guys, let's all buy a lotto ticket, eh?

Oh wait, I just did. You see what I’m saying?

While fall and winter lend themselves to cabbage-dense soups and roasted vegetables, summer is filled with ALL OF THE BEST FRUIT IMAGINABLE. I realize this is not a complete tragedy, but as someone who tries to keep the sugar they eat low (usually I have *maybe* 1 serving of fruit per day), I am definitely struggling right now to not eat ALL OF THE PEACHES DAILY. There is an entire box on my counter top and it basically sings to me all day long.

I know you think Christmas parties are bad, but seriously I can only eat so many cheese filled appetizers or iterations of white chocolate desserts. But if you left me alone with this box of peaches right now, you would come back only to find me covered in a puddle of sticky fruit juice, laying on my kitchen floor in a diabetic coma. Luckily summer also has lots of amazing vegetables and great weather that leaves no excuse not to get outside and be active, but I’m sticking to my hypothesis here. Summer is nuts. Right now I am freely admitting that I am roaming around being a poster child for this movement:

Speaking of that 20%, last night there was a Food Truck Festival in the Whole Foods parking lot behind my house. Please don’t get Portland PTSD on my behalf, we made it out alive! I had actually totally forgotten about it and then I opened up our windows and heard the DJ in the parking lot. Hello, siren song. Sing to me…

We headed out just to see what they had to offer, and hopefully find a few mostly-Paleo options.

Instead, the first truck we saw was a Belgian Waffle Truck, which of course instantly made us nostalgic for our Portland Appetizer Waffle and we needed to recreate that experience by splitting one immediately. Nice rationalizing right? So the night started off with a Nutella and Whip Cream covered BANG! (OHMYGOD)

We waited in line at the slider truck hoping to score some burgers on a bed of lettuce to kind of make up for bathing in Nutella, but as we were in line THEY SOLD OUT OF FOOD. The Universe was clearly not on our side. So we headed over to Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen where they were serving…SANDWICHES.

And that’s where this night sort of went of the rails. We ordered The Mustang with some Sweet Potato Fries (doing what we can here! Sweet potatoes! ha!) and let me tell you, it was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Korean Braised BBQ Beef shredded to tender perfection, Kimchi with a touch of spice (Hey look! I’m eating fermented food! Points, right?), Shredded Daikon, SRIRACHA-WASABI AIOLI, and aged Havarti all served grilled cheese style.

Oh you guys…I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

Since we had split everything, we decided it was only right to get a tiny little mix of Vanilla Bean + Nutella gelato to wash it all down. Ok that is a bold face lie. I wanted the gelato, Garrett said “Holly this is a terrible idea and you will regret it.”

I did not, in the moment. Shortly thereafter my tummy was telling another story. I hate it when Garrett is right.

In conclusion, Summer is haaaaaaaaard. But this is probably as good of a time as any to mention the following:

On August 1st Garrett and I are starting our first Whole 30!

Hey — how crazy do I sound juxtaposing pictures of me eating a sandwich with basically the strictest 30 day Paleo challenge ever? HA! Probably pretty crazy. But we are actually really excited about it and have been contemplating it since May. June and July weren’t really going to work since we were traveling so much, but we have decided to get back to our Happy Place during the month of August and embark on probably our biggest nutritional challenge together since we started exploring Paleo. We’re knee deep into planning, prepping and strategizing for a really eye-opening month. I can’t wait!

As usual, I am happy to document my food exploits for your benefit so riddle me this, folks:

*What elements would you like to see surrounding this Whole 30? Recipes? Pictures of Food? Our reasoning behind doing it? Strategies? Resources? Nothing at all, shut up about what you are eating already, Holly?

and then tell me this…

*YOU would have opted for post sandwich gelato too, wouldn’t you?

I knew I liked you. 🙂


Portland Day Two – The Day With All Of The Eating

So the house is full of cocktails and enormous…this is where we left off, yes?
(BTW, want to rent this house yourself? I highly recommend it for a big group trip. Cozy beds, creature comforts and historic charm. Check out the VRBO listing if you’ll be in the area.)

Ok. Let’s carry on.

We enjoyed a few drinks and then headed down to the Opening Ceremonies of the SCAA Conference.
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It was held at the Oregon Convention Center which was about a mile away from our house. Over the next couple of days Garrett and I walked to and from the conference, and I have to say it was so nice to be in an area so walkable and also full of public transportation. Sacramento Suburbs — you could use a lesson or two!

That night we decided we needed to hit up some food trucks. Unfortunately between 8 people with 7 smart phones, we couldn’t seem to find our way there, so we ended up back at home ordering a pizza. WOMP WOMP! We woke up with high hopes for the food adventures the following day, and we were not disappointed.

Garrett and I squeezed in a workout the next morning while the rest of our crew took some classes.
Rainy run!
We had hoped to squeeze in a WOD at a local CrossFit box, but in the end a rainy run had to suffice. The neighborhood where we stayed is full of huge tree lined streets and beautiful historic houses, so it was awesome scenery and a fun run.
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We wandered down to a little coffee shop and enjoyed some pretty cappuccinos and then made our way back home to get ready for the day!
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We made it down to the Convention Center in time to check out some of the finalists in the United States Barista Championship. Did you know this was a thing? These people take their coffee very seriously — it’s a full contact sport.
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On a funny note though, the whole conference was a bit of a Hipsters Paradise. So many pairs of skinny jeans! Vests! Mustachioed men slurping espresso — it was a comedy sketch waiting to happen. Next year we decided we should all collaborate on a booth selling mustache wax. Obviously we would become overnight millionaires.

After watching the Barista Champions’ concoctions for a bit, we sampled all the Roaster’s Guild Coffees of the Year.
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There were some delicious options, all brewed using the pour over method — which we saw EVERYWHERE this weekend — and we drank them with abandon! But we learned quickly that Coffee Conventions are serious business and you have to pay attention to your body. It’s like wine tasting but with MORE CAFFEINE! By lunch, I *needed* to get some food in my system! We met up with our group, and all hopped on the train to head Food Truck Mecca, and you all — it was life changing. And I say that without an ounce of hyperbole.

It was an entire city block filled with gourmet food trucks. So many that we had to take a lap first to size up the situation. Garrett and I decided our strategy would be to get one of every thing we wanted, and then just split it. Our eyes…well…they were much much bigger than our stomachs, to say the least. What can I say, we enjoy the Go Big or Go Home attitude when it comes to culinary pursuits.

We started out small with a little Bacon Maple Waffle.
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Innocent. Delicious. An amuse bouche, if you will.

The we moved on to a hot bag of cinnamon sugar mini donuts while we decided on our next stop, just because they smelled good.
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Then we ran in to the rest of my cousins who were enjoying some Lamb Gyros — WHICH ARE MY FAVORITE — and they were gushing about how amazing they were in such a convincing manner that Garrett and I couldn’t pass those up, right?
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Nope, says Garrett. It’s a must.

But the piece de resistance — the entire reason we had come to this grouping of food trucks, were for the Pork Belly Sandwiches at The People’s Pig.
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They did not disappoint.

Delicious crispy pork belly on a ciabatta roll that was soft on the inside but with the perfect crustiness outside. Add some fennel pollen and arugula that was tossed with THE MOST DELICIOUS lemon vinaigrette, and you have one sandwich worth writing home about. I will recreate that vinaigrette all summer long, I’m sure of it. Get me to some arugula!
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A week later, I am still thinking about this sandwich.

And just because neither us have an self control at all, apparently, we followed it up with Banana Nilla Wafer Pudding from a BBQ cart. Why not, at that point?
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You are sick right now for us, aren’t you? As a group, at that point, we were mostly just blissed out!

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But a few hours later when we had to go out to a business-y dinner, we were NOT so blissed out thinking about food. But that story will have to come next, because I’m too full from looking at these photos to tell it.

I wasn’t joking when I said we went big on this vacay. A week later and we are still recovering. 🙂 I hit up a workout this morning for the first time in a week and it was brutal! It’s so crazy how quickly you can get out of good habits, and how difficult it can be to get back on the horse.

While I definitely think it will be a while before we go crazy trying ALL THE FOOD like this again, I did enjoy the opportunity to taste so many diverse things over this weekend. I discovered Curtido, which I plan to make at home some time soon, I can’t wait to make some Gyro Salads in the future, and I may even try my hand at cooking my own Pork Belly.

Good food inspires me! I just have to figure out how to balance inspiration and…well, good health. This weekend was overwhelming in the inspiration department, not so much in the health department. Portland has a great coffee culture and a great food culture. I think if you love either of those things (AND WE DO!) it’s a town that can’t be missed.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about our awesome dining experience at The Kennedy School (so cute! and we DEFINITELY got detention!) and of course we’ll have to talk about VooDoo Doughnuts. DUH.

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